ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Life long lessons to be learnt.

Updated on September 10, 2013

Yesteryear down the mines.

Back to the days of father and son working down the mines as daytime was hardly dawning.

Those very first slithers of light pierced through the dark black canvas of the sky with the son only a few days away from his twelfth birthday and had already been working down the mines for over a year.

They pick up two red neckerchiefs inside which were their meagre lunch which consisted of bread and cheese!

Mother’s silent prayer the same each waking day, oh yes every single day!!

“Oh please dear God make sure you look after my man and my poor precious young son.”

“Please oh please bring them back to me again!”

She watched them walk further and further away down the hillside towards the coalmine until they were out of sight.

They both in silence continued their journey into the mine below!!

Candles lit the way; a meagre but almost sufficient light.

A tiny beam so meagre; simply a slither of light!!

The continuous

"Pick!! Pick!!!"

"Pick!! Pick!!"

was soon to be heard.


True grit lessons in life.

Great heavy tool almost bigger and heavier than the oh so young boys

who used them.

Their young puny bodies strengthening, each muscle taut and stretched to their limits.

Picking away at the shiny damp surface of each wall!!

Coals of all shaped and sizes were then loaded into carts which would then be pulled by the patiently awaiting Pit Ponies whose eyes were now as accustomed to the dim light as they ever would be.

Not an age for sentimentality or emotional outbursts.

An age of

Put up or shut up!!!’

That age old

Stiff upper lip era!’

The gentry would benefit freely and selfishly from the tireless grafting of each miner at work!

Those large gleaming fire grates in their mansions almost overflowing with gleaming black coal around which flames proudly play and warm each already warm limb!!!!

While for the hard working miners and their families, to live on would be given a meagre amount mainly consisting of coal dust; hardly enough to warm their almost numb with pain tired bodies!!

No relief felt as they bathe in those old tin baths in front of the meagre flames that came from a fire made of small amounts of coal and topped up with wet coal dust! That flame could almost be mistaken as a flame from a candle!

Every minute of every day the


"Pick! Pick!!"

‘"Pick! Pick!!"

could be heard.

Oh how hard the fathers and sons had to work!!



Suddenly a bright light so swiftly pierces the curtains in Toby's bedroom.

Toby awoke and stretched each limb which for some strange reason were really aching!!!

Also some strange echoing sounds were heavily thudding in his ears!!

"Pick! Pick!!"

"Pick!! Pick!!"

Toby's room was filed with everything a young boy would dream of owning .However he didn't look after anything and all was a jumble !!!

Easy come easy go being the selfish motto of the day !!!

He then slowly forced himself to get up from his warm and cosy bed!!

This is when his dream of the night before came back to him.

Oh how vivid the dream had been; almost surreal !!!

A dream of a boy his own age going down the coalmines with his father ;a boy who accepted his lot in life with his heart of gold. Toby could now hear him singing and whistling with that happy smile on his face..

Yes a dream oh so true !!!

The deep ache in his limbs continued as he stepped over the clutter in his bedroom.

The aching as piercingly painful as the dream ; oh how strange!!

Then almost from nowhere he felt and heard a voice from deep within speak to him in stern tones.

Oh yes so stern and oh so clear !!!

Listen, remember and feel this pain which seeps deeply into your being.” It carried on in sombre tone ; “You have many lesson to learn Toby my boy!!!"

Constantly the tone never lifting and never lowering.

“I hope you have learnt Toby my son, that you have nothing to moan or groan about!!”

No reasons to treat your mother as you do!”

"You are so lucky to have always been kept free of pain and to be surrounded by everything a child could ask for !!"

"However I have to tell you that you have become spoilt and spiteful!" "How dare you treat your mother as you do!!"

"Years ago young boys went down the mine at 10 years of age and most of them grew up to be wonderful people !"

Instantly Toby felt the ache tighten and for the first time ever he felt something else!! He felt a deep shame and had to sadly agree that he had become everything the voice had said about him !!!

Toby so guiltily replied in a voice so small.

“I have learnt my lesson you need not worry!”

He pushed his aching feet into his comfy warm slippers and took another look around his cosy bedroom.

So warm ; so bright and such a deep contrast to the way the boy in his dream lived.

That boy had to share his bed with two siblings; the house was dark and cold due to the family not having enough money for heating and the likes.

This boy at only twelve years old had already been working down the mine a whole year. However this boy had had a permanent smile on his face and whistled as he worked hard

"Pick Pick !!!"

"Pick Pick !!!"


"I will never ever act like that again and that is a promise .

Oh dear how ashamed of himself Toby felt!!!

He instinctively knew what his first and most important task of the day was.

Without a single doubt it was to apologise to his Mam for shouting and screaming because she did not have enough money to buy him the latest football kit!!

Oh yes for acting like the spoilt brat that he was!!

His limbs still ached and he instinctively knew that they would only disappear when he could show that he had changed his ways.

He would learn to appreciate his life and also to appreciate the people who cared for him especially his loving and caring mother.

As he walked into the kitchen he found her cooking breakfast;

She turned with a sad little smile to her son almost expecting another argument !! However this time Toby ran to her giving his sweet and wonderful Mam the biggest hug ever!!!

“So sorry Mam for being so horrible!!!”

"I will never ever act like that again and that is a promise ;I love you so much !!"

He almost immediately felt the ache lessen and the "Pick Pick " faded into silence.

At this a guardian angel smiled as she flew away knowing that very soon her help would be needed again elsewhere. She looked back once to see Toby helping his Mum tidy up as they were both laughing and joking while planning a day out 'a happy day out !!!


My Treasured Hub Family.

This past week or so have been very busy ;however today looks a little quieter and I am so glad of the time to be able to join you all again my treasured 'Hub family'.

Here's wishing you all a wonderful day and lots of love from my little corner of Wales.



    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 

      6 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Thanks Eddy,

      That was a wonderful story filled with moral lessons, well done.


    • Eiddwen profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Wales

      Thank you Jatinder and your words mean so very much more than I can say.


    • Jatinder Joshi profile image

      Jatinder Joshi 

      6 years ago from Whitby, Ontario, Canada

      A brilliant story that looks into where we come from and where we have landed up - from very limited material possessions to very limited 'valued' possessions. The story although targeting the young ones, begs many deeper questions of the adults too!

      A great moral of the story.

      Enjoyed reading it and trying to co-relate it with life.

    • Eiddwen profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Wales

      Thank you to





      Each comment so greatly appreciated.


    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 

      6 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      I believe you wrote something once rather similar to this, if memory serves. You tell the best stories.

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 

      6 years ago from South Africa

      That was one of the sad times in history - children working in the coal mines....

      I am so glad we are living now, and hopefully the future will even be better.

      Thanks for reminding me to be grateful in such a 'delicious' way, Eiddwen...

    • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

      Gypsy Rose Lee 

      6 years ago from Daytona Beach, Florida

      Voted up and interesting. A most fascinating story Eddy. Hope you have a great day. Hugs.

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 

      6 years ago from south Florida

      Thank you, Eddy, for this lovely parable of a story. Sadly, so many youngsters do not appreciate the easier lives they now have.

    • Eiddwen profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Wales

      Thank you so very much Schoolmom and I also look forward to reading many more of yours Have a great day.


    • Eiddwen profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Wales

      As always blossom this comment is so greatly appreciated. Here's to so many more hubs for us both to share on here.


    • Schoolmom24 profile image


      6 years ago from Oregon

      This was beautiful. My own children that are still growing up have it so much easier than my parents. Especially my father, who was a little boy in the Depression and lived through the Dust Bowl. I really liked reading poetic reminder of generations past.

    • BlossomSB profile image

      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 

      6 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      A different write from your usual, Eddy and such a great wake up call. It isn't only the young ones who can learn from this - we all have so much to be grateful for, especially when we think of the attitude of our ancestors who had to work so hard.

    • Eiddwen profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Wales

      You are so welcome janetwrites and enjoy your day.


    • janetwrites profile image

      Janet Giessl 

      6 years ago from Georgia country

      A wonderful and meaningful story. Many young people take everything for granted and don't know how hard their ancestors had worked in the mines. Thank you for sharing this.

    • Eiddwen profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Wales

      Thank you s very much Suzette and as always your comment so greatly appreciated.


    • suzettenaples profile image

      Suzette Walker 

      6 years ago from Taos, NM

      Eddy: Beautiful tribute to those that worked the Welsh mines in the old days. It was a hard life and work for them. Compared with today and the boy's bedroom, it does seem selfish of the boy. Not knowing what his ancestors sacrificed for a free Welsh life, he does come off as self-absorbed. It is good, that somewhere in his mind, the pick, pick, pick, resonates with him. What beautiful poems and thoughts.

    • Eiddwen profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Wales

      Thank you so very much to









      for each and every comment..


    • wetnosedogs profile image


      6 years ago from Alabama

      Beautiful. Life is amazing.

    • rdsparrowriter profile image

      Rochelle Ann De Zoysa 

      6 years ago from Moratuwa, Sri Lanka

      Lovely story Eddy. A lesson learnt too. Thank you and may God bless you!

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 

      6 years ago from San Francisco

      In masonry, we have the lesson of the rough and smooth ashlars. Thank you for this.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 

      6 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thank you for sharing the lovely story and its important message, Eddy. Life was very hard for miners.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 

      6 years ago from southern USA

      Eddy, yes, it seems life can keep us so busy, however, I am so blessed you were able to write this profound piece here. It moved me so, I cried.

      Beautiful and thought-provoking.

      Up and more and sharing

      Blessings, Faith Reaper

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      6 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Such a wonderful story. When i was still in the nursing field, i took care of an old miner who had the black lung disease. He told me he started working in the coal mines in Kentucky at the age of ten with his father. The young people today should have heard him talk, he loved the coal mine, although it took his life. Thank you again for writing about ' life long lessons ' Beautiful Eddy...

    • profile image

      DJ Anderson 

      6 years ago

      Glad to have you back, Eddy.

      We always have our eyes peeled for that bright rainbow that comes

      streaking out of the east, across the pond and into our computers.

      Your story was very interesting....A very good reminder of how hard life was.....not so long ago.

      Have a lovely evening, my friend.


    • Kathryn Stratford profile image


      6 years ago from Windsor, Connecticut

      You tell those stories as if you have lived them! I could almost feel the ache the coal miners felt as I read this. You are amazing at telling these life lessons, and I enjoyed it.

      Thanks for sharing this with us, and have a wonderful day!

      ~ Kathryn

    • Eiddwen profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Wales

      Thank you so very much Mary and it is so nice to be back. Most of the time I can juggle all but at times life gets that little bit more hectic than usual and I then come running back whole heartedly.

      So glad you liked this one and have a great day.


    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 

      6 years ago from New York

      So good to see you back old friend. What a beautiful story and lesson learned. Puts me in mind of Scrooge. If only lessons could really be taught that way!

      Voted everything but funny.

    • Eiddwen profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Wales

      Your comment so appreciated PS. Have a wonderful day.


    • Eiddwen profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Wales

      Thank you so very much as always Billy. Have a great day.


    • Eiddwen profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Wales

      Thank you Jackie; your comment as always so greatly appreciated. Enjoy your day.


    • Eiddwen profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Wales

      Thank you so very much Shauna and here's to so many more for us both to share on here.


    • Eiddwen profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Wales

      Thank you so very much Monis Mas and enjoy your day.


    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 

      6 years ago from North Central Florida

      You just have a way of sharing the most precious stories with us. Angels are on the way ps

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      6 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Lessons learned indeed, Eddy! Hopefully we are all wise enough to learn them.

      Nice to have you back and thank you for sharing this lovely story with us all.



    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 

      6 years ago from The Beautiful South

      A beautiful story, Eddy and so true of children today. Wish they could all have that dream or just save trouble and read your story! ^

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 

      6 years ago from Central Florida

      What a wonderful moral, Eddy. We are all guilty of taking life for granted from time to time. Gaining a proper perspective and vowing to make a better life for ourselves is key. Life doesn't necessarily have to be full of tangible riches to be valuable. Inner riches and love are what makes for a happy life.

    • Monis Mas profile image


      6 years ago

      Lovely story. You are a rocking mama! :-)

    • Eiddwen profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Wales

      Your wonderful comment means so very much DAL and here's to so many more hubs for us both to share on here.


    • Eiddwen profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Wales

      Thank you as always Janine. Have a great day too.


    • Eiddwen profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Wales

      Thank you so very much Lisa; your comment as always so greatly appreciated.


    • D.A.L. profile image


      6 years ago from Lancashire north west England

      Brilliantly done and oh, how times have changed. As an ex miner I clung to your every word. times were certainly hard in the days of my youth but we always seemed so grateful for what we had {which wasn't much} Some of today,s youth, through no fault of their own have sadly become a group of I want and I need and you owe it to me!.

      Lovely story about the the most important thing you can possess-a Mothers love!

    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 

      6 years ago from New York, New York

      Wonderful as always Eddy and so happy to get to read this this morning. Thank you as always for sharing and wishing you a great now, too!

    • Lisa Luv profile image

      Lisa J Warner AKA Lisa Luv 

      6 years ago from Conneticut, USA

      What a wonderful story!

      Your great talent showed through with flying colors!

      May your days also be filled with great joy!



    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)